Skip to main content

Everything Amazon improved with the new Fire TV Cube

The Amazon Fire TV Cube
The Amazon Fire TV Cube (Image credit: Android Central)

What's new: Amazon's all-new Fire TV Cube rolls out some nice internal upgrades along with international distribution in an attempt to up their streaming game.

What's new with the updated Fire TV Cube?

At first glance, you may look at the All-New Fire TV Cube and think, ok, so what's different? Well, plenty has changed. The form factor may be about the same, but the internals have seen some pretty serious upgrades that you're sure to notice the next time you're streaming.

First of all, the updated device is launching on day one in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and of course, the U.S. All too often Fire, Echo, and Alexa products take time to roll out to countries outside the U.S. This alone is a great sign that Amazon is serious about its streaming business.

Compared to last year's device, the All-New Fire TV Cube features an advanced Hexa-core processor, Dolby Vision, HDR 10+, and something called Local Voice Control. Local Voice Control is a convenient feature that utilizes the device's improved processing power to handle an increasing number of requests on-device, rather than in the cloud. This allows Alexa to execute frequently used voice commands to navigate through the Fire TV interface more quickly than ever before. For example, you can ask things like "Alexa, scroll right" or "Alexa, select number one," and it will happen instantaneously. Unfortunately, this feature is only available in English at launch, but they expect to roll out other languages soon.

Amazon is also offering a nice bundle and an incentive package at launch to sweeten the pot. It includes a Fire TV Cube and Ring Video Doorbell 2 combo, as well as a 90-day extended free trial of Amazon Music Unlimited to customers who pre-order the device.

Quick list of the specs

Sometimes it's just easier to see these specs in a chart form, so here you go!

All-New Fire TV CubeFire TV Cube (2018)
ProcessorHexa-coreQuad-core
Microphones88
Picture Quality4K UHD, HDR 10+4K UHD, HDR 10
Dolby AudioYesYes
Dolby VisionYesNo
Local Voice ControlYesNo
Smart Home ControlsYesYes
Music StreamingYesYes
Pair Multiple for Stereo SoundYesYes
Beamforming MicrophonesYesYes
Storage16 GB16 GB
RAM2 GB2 GB

What stayed the same?

While the aforementioned updates are essential to an upgraded viewing experience, it's worth noting that Amazon kept several key features similar between this version and the previous generation. The first thing you'll notice is that the physical look and feel of the new device is pretty much the same as the old one. It also comes with the same connectors and adaptors, as well as the Alexa Voice Remote.

Both devices share the ability to play 4K, Ultra High Definition video at 60 frames per second, and both can project Dolby Atmos sound. Both Cubes have beamforming microphone technology and far-field voice recognition so that Alexa can better hear and process your requests. Both can be paired with other Echo devices as part of a multi-room music group.

If you are a super-duper videophile or audiophile, then you'll notice the improvements in the All-New Fire TV Cube and appreciate the upgrades. But if you're an average Jane, you may not. Regardless, the improved speed and on-device processing are sure to impress anyone who is considering upgrading their smart TV setup.

Jeramy is proud to help *Keep Austin Weird* and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he's not writing about smart home gadgets and wearables, he's defending his relationship with his smart voice assistants to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.